Jemele Hill and ESPN Finally Calling It Quits


Jemele Hill’s run at ESPN will end Friday as she and the company have reached a buyout of her contract, according to multiple reports. ESPN declined comment.

Hill, who left the 6 p.m. SportsCenter earlier this year, has become one of, if not the most controversial Bristol talent in recent times. Last September she tweeted that President Donald Trump was a “white supremacist” leading to the White House to call for her firing during a press briefing. Last October she was suspended after criticizing Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jonesand pointing out what would be an effective way to hurt his pocketbook.

Since leaving SportsCenter, Hill has been far from the public’s eye at The Undefeated. Anyone paying attention has known this day was coming, as the marriage had become hopelessly strained. She was a bad fit at this ESPN, the version of seemingly afraid to be seen as overly political. The one timid in the face of bad-faith actors.

There’s no doubt she pushed the envelope when it came to expressing personal views. There’s no doubt she upset a huge faction of the country by going after those in power. But one wonders why she became the avatar for the “stick to sports” crowd’s rage. She is not the only ESPNer who dips into social, racial, and political issues. She’s just the one who paid the most public price.

Hill’s departure comes after 12 years at the company. It may be the best thing for her personally, as there’s undoubtedly a place for her on cable news or another outlet willing to let her speak freely. Her legacy will be a complicated one, and much of it will hinge on what ESPN does in the future to solve its political problem. Or, if one day it decides it’s not a problem at all.